Rotorua Revisited

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Rotorua has a lot to offer for a small city. The region has stunning scenery, 18 lakes, culture, adventure, and some incredible action-packed activities. With fantastic accommodation options and many parks to explore, Rotorua is the perfect destination for all budgets.

Things to do in Rotorua

  • Geothermal wonders. Rotorua is famous for its geothermal activity. Visit places like Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve to witness geysers, hot springs, and colorful mud pools. The steam rising from these geothermal wonders can be even more mesmerizing in the crisp winter air.
  • Redwoods Forest. The Redwoods, also known as Whakarewarewa Forest, offer various walking and mountain biking trails. Even if you’re not into biking, a walk among the towering trees is a memorable experience, and it won’t cost you a thing. You can also experience the Redwoods Forest from a unique perspective with the Redwoods Treewalk. Suspended walkways among the giant trees create an enchanting atmosphere, especially during winter when you might even catch a glimpse of frost on the leaves.
  • Agrodome. Get up close and personal with New Zealand’s farm animals at Agrodome. You can enjoy farm shows and even take part in interactive experiences like feeding the animals.
  • Rotorua Museum. Although the main building of the museum is closed due to earthquake damage, you can still visit the gardens and the nearby Government Gardens, which offer picturesque views even in winter.
  • Eat traditional Māori Hangi. Experience a Māori cultural performance and indulge in a traditional Hangi meal. It’s a delicious way to learn about the local culture and warm up with hearty food.
  • Hells Gate Mud Bath and Spa. Enjoy a rejuvenating mud bath experience at Hells Gate, known for its therapeutic mud and sulphur spa treatments.
  • Water activities. If you’re up for some adventure, you can go white-water rafting on the Kaituna River or try river sledging with a professional guide.
  • Fishing. Rotorua has several prime fishing locations, especially if you’re after trout. Out of the 18 lakes in Rotorua, most of them are fishable along with an array of streams. March to June is the best time to fish in Rotorua because the spawning runs are in full swing and the fish are at their prime.
  • Fantastic Accommodation Options. The wide selection of accommodation options in Rotorua cater to all types of vacationers; from luxury resorts and hotels to self-catering apartments, cabins and camping sites.

Free Activities in Rotorua

  • Scenic walks. Rotorua has plenty of beautiful walking trails and hikes that you can enjoy, such as the Hamurana Springs Track and the Blue Lake Walk.
  • Kuirau Park. This geothermal park is located right in the city center and offers walking tracks around bubbling mud pools, steaming lakes, and hot springs. It’s a great place to experience Rotorua’s geothermal wonders without spending a dime.
  • Government Gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Government Gardens, located next to the Rotorua Museum. The gardens are well-maintained, and you can enjoy the scenic views of the historic Bath House and Rotorua Lake.
  • Visit Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and take in the stunning blue waters surrounded by native bush. There are picnic areas available if you want to pack some snacks and enjoy the scenery.
  • Hamurana Springs. Explore the Hamurana Springs Reserve and take the easy walk around the spring-fed stream, witnessing crystal-clear waters and natural springs along the way.
  • Okere Falls. Head to Okere Falls Scenic Reserve, which offers beautiful views of the Okere River and a series of waterfalls. It’s a great spot for photography and a peaceful walk.
  • Rotorua Night Market. If you happen to be in Rotorua on a Thursday evening during winter, visit the Rotorua Night Market. Although the food and goods at the market are not free, it’s a fun and vibrant atmosphere to soak in.
  • Sulphur Point Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is home to various bird species and offers boardwalks and paths for visitors to observe the birds and enjoy the natural surroundings.
  • Lakefront. Take a walk along the Rotorua Lakefront and enjoy the views of Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. There are several sculptures and artworks along the way, making it an interesting stroll.
  • Attend local events. Keep an eye out for free community events, cultural performances, and festivals that may be happening during your visit to Rotorua in winter.

Plan your trip to Rotorua

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